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Trump says good relations with Japan 'will end when I tell them how much they have to pay:' WSJ

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Puff puff puff your feathers out peacock...

22 ( +27 / -5 )

It comes down to demand. A class discussion we had recently centered on how the average size of an American house has tripled in the past few decades - and all of that space must be filled with stuff.

That's not to say that Japan would benefit from a more open trade system, but the root cause of the deficit is American consumer demand for stuff. Now, Trump can try to make that stuff so expensive that no one will buy it or that American companies will finally produce it - possibilities depend on the item - but until Americans' insatiable demand for stuff is rectified, trade deficits will continue.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

This should get interesting... Whatever happened to Donald and Shinzo making alliance even greater?

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Trump will say he never said that.

Promise Trump his resort development company, or maybe a company owned by one of his largest campaign contributors, a company owned by one of his fellow 'syndicate' dons, can get rights to develop one of Japan's casinos.

And Trump backs down when it's face to face time. If Abe stands firm in a one on one, Trump will back down. He's a keyboard warrior, only tough when he's in his bedroom twittering.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

@Laguna: finally! Someone said it. The main problem is the high level of consumerism in the US. They have the highest energy consumption per capita. The Americans waste so much resources in the Earth to keep ridiculous standard of life. A friend of mine, who lived one year in the States, told me that the Americans always use the dryer, also in summer! Here in Italy people let the laundry under the sun, because we don't want to waste energy. We use the dryer only in case of rain, and not everyone owns one. Try to imagine if all the people in the world wasted all the energy and resources of the Americans: impossible. Look at how big are their houses, their fridges, their cars. They are obsessed with abundance. Look at their food portions, and so on.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Aly RustomToday 04:00 pm JST

This should get interesting... Whatever happened to Donald and Shinzo making alliance even greater?

Shinzo Abe's supporters have been known to say that one of the reasons they support him is that he's one of the only people who can get through to Donald Trump. It doesn't exactly look as if that's the case.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

sounds like Trump thinks trade is an extortion racket

12 ( +16 / -4 )

OK. If Trump goes through with this, Okinawa will start charging rent for US military bases. The same rent that Japanese and Okinawans have to pay. They'll be broke in a month!

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Wow! This joker knows no boundaries! I do agree that Japan has had a good run with trade and commerce with the US, introducing changes in such a manner does not make him any friends. He has alienated just about about every trade partner the US has. It's a lonely spot at the top of the heap. Perhaps he should use a little more tact.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Good luck with that Mr Trump, two faced MF.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Citing a phone call he received from Trump, James Freeman, a columnist for the paper, wrote that the president "described his good relations with the Japanese leadership, but then added: 'Of course that will end as soon as I tell them how much they have to pay.'"

If he said that, that last part could have been tongue-in-cheek. It does sound like it.

If that’s the case, it’s still not a good idea for a leader to speak to the press in that way. This goes double when you are an inarticulate person with a history of preposterous comments.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Oh, dear Trump. For your information, Italy has an excellent trade surplus with Japan. Maybe your Country should try to understand what the other Countries need.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Stall -- he will be out of office VERY soon!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Citing a phone call he received from Trump, James Freeman, a columnist for the paper, wrote that the president "described his good relations with the Japanese leadership, but then added: 'Of course that will end as soon as I tell them how much they have to pay.'"

Just Trump getting cocky. Japan recently promised they'll spend billions of $ on us weapons and other military equipment in the next few years.

Having said that I certainly hope/think the us (& other countries) could/should get better access to Japan's food/agriculture markets.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Trump continues to play 4-D ches

With that and his endless golfing it’s unsurprising he gets nothing done

5 ( +9 / -4 )

We can only hope "Anonymous" and the rest of the Republican "Resistance" will pull the paper off his desk and hide it from him. Remember, he only has a Fifth or Sixth Grade understanding of international geopolitics and economics.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Oh oh, Abe must be sweating buckets seeing as there's a looming election. One only wonders what fear mongering he'll yank out of the nether this time.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Trump isn't smart enough to not give Mueller evidence and you think he's playing 4D chess? Sound logic.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

They often say that Trump is incredibly easy to read.

Who else thinks Trump is trying to negotiate a space for a Trump Casino in Tokyo/Osaka?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That's one of the reasons why he was elected. Some people still don't get that.

There was only one reason Trump was elected, racism. Regarding the balance of payments even Trump has no idea of what it really means. HIs followers know even less. Trump followers use to care about government debt when Obama was President, but no more. The federal debt is exploding now and no one in the Republican clown rodeo cares about it at all. To say that they care about the USA balance of payments is a joke.

As stated above the internal folks in the WH will probably remove documents from the desk of Trump to prevent him from starting a trade war with the number ally in Asia for the USA, Japan. Thank God for those patriots that prevent Trump from further damaging the USA. Trump is fighting with Canada now, simply amazing and so stupid. But Russia, no, according to Trump Russia is a great, great country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"I don't know President Trump's relationship with The Wall Street Journal nor whether he actually said that."

So, Mr. Aso is doing the same like Mr. Trump? At least concerning his wording. Sounds like he will come up with the "fake news" term, too, very soon.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

What's wrong with trying to eliminate trade deficits?

For an economy like that of the US which basically only produces things to export that people don't want and therefore don't often buy, a lot.

In fact, increases in trade deficits is generally a sign that the US economy is growing since more imports of raw materials/high-end products coincides with demand to build more things/increase in spending ability of citizens.

While yes, eliminating trade deficits is a good thing in regards to developing countries and manufacturing economies, its basically a step in the wrong direction for IT/IP/Financial economies like the US. The only way to eliminate deficits is to either get the US companies to buy local materials = increase in production costs = increase in price for the same product, or to get trading partners to purchase more American products to increase the export side of the deficit.

Even if Japan opened up its economy and markets COMPLETELY to the US, they would get a minuscule increase in exports as Japanese people likely won't buy the lower quality, higher price products that the US makes.

Japan won't open her automobile markets to the US and consumers also wouldnt want that. The agricultural industry also won't open up, as thats where the majority of the LDP supporters are from. And what is Trump going to do? Threaten auto tariffs? That would be political suicide, as prices for cars in America would rise across the board. More than half of the cars sold in America are from Japanese companies(import or domestically produced). 

So yes,

Unlike China, Japan doesn't have the clout to push back like it once had

While this is true, it doesnt have the economic clout to push back like it once had, but it still has quite a bit.

To put it into simple terms, Japan doesn't need the US (apart from their military, but I'd personally rather they go too). However, the US absolutely needs Japan.

3 ( +19 / -16 )

First of all, trade deficit does not matter, fiscal deficits matter. And second, there is no trade deficit because trade is not a zero sum game. When the Japanese export stuff to America, the dollars they get find their way back to America in one form or another. It's a case of the seen vs the unseen. The more dollars they accumulate, the more their value in relation to the yen decrease, which makes the yen more valuable, and buying dollars less profitable. This process continues until a balance is reached.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Cut US deficit and other nations who depend on US consumerism will begin to implode. I don’t think it’s wrong for the US to try to balance its trade balance. Other nations can easily identify with that goal. The fact that it will hurt many nations is the reverse side of the coin. Can’t blame Trump. He’s doing what all US presidents should have done. Of course politically your shooting yourself in the foot, but then the Donald isn’t into politics. Let’s see how Japan, and others, negotiate themselves out of this hole.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Trump is already paying off farmers who have suffered from his tariff policies. Success?????

3 ( +6 / -3 )

You mean Japan might have to stop importing all those American cars and trucks?

No, I mean that Trump's particular method of bullying is particularly effective on the Japanese mindset. I could see Abe capitulating in a direction that is not good for Japan, in response to Trump's aggression and threats. I don't see Abe standing up for Japan like Trudeau did for Canada when Trump suddenly became like a bull freaked out by all the red in the Canadian flag.

I have my fingers crossed that Abe can be strong for Japan, and properly stand up to Trump's bullying if/when it happens. But I'm not as confident as I wish I was.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ksteer

"....the US....which basically only produces things to export that people don't want and therefore don't often buy, a lot."

Like Boeing 787s.

Both the Japanese and Chinese should appreciate Trump's sentiment. Both those countries are loathe to run trade deficits, and indeed their highly successfully industrial development strategies involved running up huge surpluses against their major trading partners, aka, "adversaries."

"Business is war," a Japanese official once said in the 70s, summing up his country's trade strategy.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Trump continues to play 4-D chess and the liberals still can't seem to grasp it, lol.

Always amusing to watch Trumpists using the term 4-D chess as for most of them it's already hard to comprehend 2-D chess :)

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Newsflash, Donnie - good relations with Japan ended the day you took office...

2 ( +7 / -5 )

This will be interesting and unpleasant to watch. One good thing: dumping on Trump will be in.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Donald J. Trump is again misinformed ... a little knowledge is a dangerous thing in the hands of the chief purveyor of fake news, disinformation and misinformation.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

That's sounds so American: using japanese islands to get some control over the East China Sea and then charging Japan for defending it's economy

Unfortunately that’s what happens when you lose a war. Okinawa is still occupied by the US.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Trump’s timing is perfect: kicking Japan when the country has suffered a killer heat wave, a horrific typhoon and a major earthquake. So typically Trump. An evil petty bully.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

maybe Japan should close down all of it manufacturing plants in the USA and shift them to China and see how many people get put out of work

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This may not bode well for Japan.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

This may not bode well for Japan.

You mean Japan might have to stop importing all those American cars and trucks?

1 ( +12 / -11 )

@BertieWooster - OK. If Trump goes through with this, Okinawa will start charging rent for US military bases.

They already do pay a lot to both the local and federal governments for the use of the land and use of infrastructure. Do you actually believe it’s all free? (roll eyes)

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The moron-in-chief is risking the billions we will be getting from Japan for military sales which they have already promised.The only time he "appears" intelligent is when he keeps his mouth shut or stops twittering.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Well, I don't think this is all doom and gloom - having seen the US - Japan relationship close up for close to 40 years, I know it is one that is extremely mature with a stout foundation - one errant Great Orange Fifth Grader can't collapse it. Other than tear up the US-Japan Security Alliance, which would take the concurrence of Congress, there is really nothing he can do that can't be overturned. The Republican Resistance, which has more than a few old foreign policy hands who know how critical good US-Japan relations are for Asia, won't allow that.

And we won't have to wait long - Bob Mueller is getting him ready for his orange jumpsuit as we speak...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

America should pay us to, for forcefeeding us rubbish Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter biased platforms

You have yourselves to thank for purchasing all of that. The market spoke, and delivered on demand. Don't try to claim it was forced on anyone.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Makes Abe look like the chump that he is, sucking up to Trump from before he became President . Toyota will take a hit with the 25% tariff Trump will put on cars from Japan. Of corse most Japanese cars in the US are made in the US. But no matter, facts are not important to the Trump folks. Should be fun to watch as Trump screws up something else. Everything he touches fails.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Many Japanese would be very happy if US bases closed.

Those economies will be in ruins for a few years, then come back, but to a lower level. Fewer hassles (laws broken, personal crimes) due to foreigners. Some Americans won't leave due to local family ties.

The US Navy closed an eastern Puerto Rican base in 2004 after residents demanded it. 6000 jobs lost. $300M lost from the local economy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/03/national/after-closing-of-navy-base-hard-times-in-puerto-rico.html Locals there are still trying to figure out a use for the old base. Just imagine how much better the USNavy response would have been after recent natural disasters had there been a local navy base.

The same applies to Japan. It is hard to help your friends when there aren't any existing bases nearby. U.S.-Japan Security Alliance is part of that response.

Trump is a short-term problem with a known, worst-case, end date.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In their next meeting...

"Yo Shinzo, where's the money"

"Trump san, I promise we'll invest more in your great country, you have my words... now, lets move on to the north korea hostage issue please"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

SerranoSep. 7 11:06 pm JST

Hee hee!

Not trying very hard to sound like the adult in the room, are you.

Ganbare Japan!Sep. 7 11:08 pm JST

USA will always have Japan's back; when Japanese constitution is changed, Japanese will have USA's back.

I trust that come the Glorious Day, you'll be just as keen to sign up for the newly re-instituted Imperial Japanese Military and go off to risk your life in some US-led overseas fiasco.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Laguna and @Alex80, you've nailed it, when other commenters simply ignore that very basic reality. I spent my entire career in the advertising industry, directing people through the media to consume. And while Americans lead the peoples of the world in that regard, some other countries (Japan) are almost as bad.

But, on the topic of trade imbalances and tariffs, I'm on the side of eliminating or reducing them as much as possible. Of course, I (and no other Canadian) would be as belligerent and rude as Trump. The guy belongs in America's old west.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

SerranoToday 07:19 pm JST

Trump continues to play 4-D chess...

Still parroting that old cliché?

...and the liberals still can't seem to grasp it, lol.

But you can, I suppose, even though such a thing as 4-D chess would be so absurdly complex and abstract that only the genius playing it could have any idea what was going on?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

OK Abe, now's your chance to close Kadena if Trump doesn't pay the rent!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yep whatever Donald Douchebag...

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Hopefully the report is true and Trump does what he says. Many Japanese, including myself, think that's good for Japan. Less dependence on US is a long time dream for many Japanese.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

SerranoSep. 7  11:28 pm JST

"VERY soon" meaning noon Jan. 20, 2025.

-4( +0 / -4 )

Putting this one in the saved folder

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I feel that as a US citizen I must apologize to the people of Japan for the rude and disrespectful speech and demeanor of Donald Trump toward you and your nation. I look forward to visiting again and hope that we will continue our long-standing friendship.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There was only one reason Trump was elected, racism.

No, that's as inaccurate as the right saying that the only reason the Democrats lost was because of Hillary. There are a myriad of reasons people voted for whom they did, and boiling it down to a single issue doesn't help anyone. Trump appealed to the racists, no doubt, but he also appealed to those who were absolutely sick of the way things were and how they had been done. A lot of people were disappointed that the hope they had in Obama didn't translate to what they were actually hoping - a better life.

I actually get this feeling myself - it's why I liked Obama when he was campaigning, I really thought he was going to disrupt the status quo. (And I feel he did the best he could, in the system with which he was working, even if it didn't do as much as I would have hoped.)

The difference between myself and people who voted for Trump because he was a disruptor, is that while I like the idea of disrupting the status quo, I could clearly see that Trump, being the embodiment of the status quo, was NOT the person to make things better. Sure, he'll disrupt, but when everything collapses he'll take the opportunity to prosper, just like he did in 2008 (well, after the collapse of 2008). He isn't motivated in helping the people, he's motivated in making more money, and putting down the people that he feels, from his tower in the sky, are ne'er do wells.

It's not good to dismiss the people who voted for Trump as just being racist though. There are legitimate concerns among many people who voted for Trump, and dismissing them by reducing all of them down to a single racist motivation does not advance us forward whatsoever. It just alienates. The racist side of Trump supporters (and Trump himself) should be denounced at every opportunity, but let's make sure to keep that denouncement to the racist parts only. Calling them all racists just alienates those who are not, and could be worked with, instead of against.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“The more dollars they accumulate, the more their value in relation to the yen decrease, which makes the yen more valuable, and buying dollars less profitable. This process continues until a balance is reached.”

The Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese are absolutely wedded to the idea of racking up huge trade surpluses and funneling the surplus back to the US in exchange for equity in the US economy. Your second assumption, that this will automatically result in currency appreciation of the Yen, Won, and Yuan is simply false as they will do whatever it takes to maintain artificially weak currencies to facilitate these trade surpluses

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is always going to be a trade deficit. Other countries just don't have the buying power of the US.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is always going to be a trade deficit. Other countries just don't have the buying power of the US.

True but there's more going on..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To understand Trumps position and why he said what he did, one needs to turn to his economic advisors i.e.the think tank, responsible for pressing the US wealth and backbone flip to China, who is this group. The Brookings Institute" notorious the world's leading think tank no part to Clinton's Foundation, Soros , Buffet etc.   The plan, keep the busy and destroy its economic power, military will come next...no money, no funding..so who got the funding..China and the result a massive military buildup that continues today..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unlike China, Japan doesn't have the clout to push back like it once had. This is the one issue where if China gives it to the U.S. I wouldn't shed a tear. Need to learn the hard way for electing the vainglorious dropkick.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

All I know is the U.S. economy is doing better than it has in many years. A main problem is not enough qualified people to fill so many job openings.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

This is a thinly veiled attempt by Trump to get his barely literate base agitate with nonsense before the election. It also distracts from his litany of other self-inflicted wounds.

An investigation causes obstruction of justice the same way as a tree causes a car to run into it. Don't try to meddle in the investigation, and you won't have a whiff of obstruction on you.

The only way to get done for perjury is to lie. If you don't lie, or can actually control your lying, you aren't in danger of perjury. Thinking before you speak, which should be a minimum qualification for POTUS, and you are good to go.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Abe is going to be SOOOOOO butt-hurt!

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Lol yes because we all know that trump's sh*t doesn't stink

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japan has to move away from the US and toward China to avoid disaster...

Japan may move away from US. But move toward China? The Earth will explode and our Universe will cease to exist before that happens.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Korea is an object lesson in what Japan should be doing to transition away from its adversarial black ship mentality with regard to food imports. Koreans have embraced trade reciprocity with gusto. Supermarkets there overflow with cheap, fresh imported produce that puts their Japanese equivalents to shame. Meanwhile Japan, which is better positioned and indeed vastly more obligated to lower the drawbridge and reduce the vast array of impediments that are designed to stifle competition, insists on maintaining a head in the sand intransigence. That it can ignore its own people’s legitimate claims to a greater share of the wealth pie is a given. An exasperated US, fed up with Japan’s obfuscation on trade, won’t be so easily pushed around

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That's sounds so American: using japanese islands to get some control over the East China Sea and then charging Japan for defending it's economy

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Beggars can't be choosers, as simple as that.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

PS You don't actually have to do anything much. The hurt will be felt from the words.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japanese cars make up 7 out of the 10 top selling vehicles in the US.

Japanese companies employ and make many US selling cars in the US, employing thousands of Americans.

Simple fact, why on earth would Japanese people want to buy a Ford when they could buy a better engineered and supported Toyota, Honda, Subaru or Nissan?

Japan could go ahead and allow American makers in Japan, bankrupt those companies that can even sell cars in America to American consumers who prefer Japanese cars.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I am happy he is trying to eliminate our trade deficits, that is what any leader of any country should be doing. He will be reelected for sure because Americans support these policies

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Not exactly sensitive, but it's called 'finesse', all in the timing.

Wait until Japan is on her knees after a horrific summer and a final airport-slamming double typhoon/earthquake, then hit her where it hurts.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Both the Japanese and Chinese should appreciate Trump's sentiment. Both those countries are loathe to run trade deficits, and indeed their highly successfully industrial development strategies involved running up huge surpluses against their major trading partners, aka, "adversaries."

The poster who has no clue about globalisation discovered something: 'their highly successfully industrial development strategies...' :)

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Sooner or later this kind of situation is going to be happened. And Japan will have to pay like a good boy.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

America should pay us to, for forcefeeding us rubbish Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter biased platforms

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

But but the wages aren’t rising!!!

Oops....

“Wage growth ticked up with average hourly earnings up 2.9 percent for the year.”

ecomony doing great and trade deficits decreasing. Some indicators the best they have been in more than 40 years.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

No data? At least try to be fair.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

THE JAPANEESE PROBLEM : ABE

°

Abe made a move toward China against america during and economic & monetary world war. What do you expect ?

USA is protecting Japan against monetary war for years. Japan does not have the luxury to go against Trump.

°

NCM

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

gogogo: "Good luck with that Mr Trump, two faced MF."

What does MF mean, gogogo?

" the president sounded "still very focused on eliminating trade deficits with America's trading partners"

That's one of the reasons why he was elected. Some people still don't get that.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

very focused on eliminating trade deficits with America's trading partners

What's wrong with trying to eliminate trade deficits?

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

Japan has to move away from the US and toward China to avoid disaster. The future belongs to China. Xi is a mch more stable genius.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Once again the WSJ has shown it Trump Bashing history by publishing another “fake news” article. It really has to be total laziness on its part to falsify it’s news arrivals in this manner!

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

This newspaper report sounds like take news. Nothing will drive a wedge between amazing relations between USA and Japan. PM Abe and Trump are already making plans for next big Summit, so there are no major problems. Both economies are leading the world in Growth.

USA will always have Japan's back; when Japanese constitution is changed, Japanese will have USA's back.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

yamada - You're confusing Trump with CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, the Washington Post...

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

"And Trump backs down when it's face to face time. If Abe stands firm in a one on one, Trump will back down. He's a keyboard warrior, only tough when he's in his bedroom twittering."

Trump did not back down with the EU, Mexico or Canada. You can bet your bottom dollar he will not back down with Japan.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

"Should be fun to watch as Trump screws up something else. Everything he touches fails."

What were the economic numbers again? Oh, wait, that's the result of Obama policies, Trump and the Republicans have nothing to do with that! Hee hee!

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

"VERY soon" meaning noon Jan. 20, 2025.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

oh dear! A president actually working to fulfill election promises and eliminate trade deficits - woe is us!

-14 ( +15 / -29 )

Good on Trump!

-19 ( +15 / -34 )

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